Hitachi Insight Group announced the launch of the City Data Exchange for Copenhagen, a new solution for making public and private data accessible so that they can power innovation that can make smart cities of the future more sustainable, prosperous, and vibrant. The project is a key initiative of the City of Copenhagen and the Capital Region; it supports not only their drive to become carbon neutral by 2025, but also offers a huge potential to improve the quality of life of citizens and boost the local economy.
The City Data Exchange is a new service that will provide data to an ecosystem that can turn cities into smart cities. The marketplace for data was developed over the past year by Hitachi Insight Group, which built the solution, created a first set of applications, and tested it with real data, in close collaboration with all the partners who are contributing data to the service.
With its launch, the City Data Exchange will bring together data from public and private data providers, taking what was once a fragmented data landscape and turning it into a one-stop-shop for public and private data from across the Copenhagen region.
Data is the fuel powering our digital world, but in most cities it is unused,” said Hans Lindeman, Senior Vice President, Hitachi Insight Group, EMEA. “Even where data sits in public, freely accessible databases, the cost of extracting and processing it can easily outweigh the benefits. With the City Data Exchange, Hitachi does all the heavy lifting: we are the connection between organizations holding the data and the people who urgently need them to help the citizens of Copenhagen.”
Many of the data sets will be accessible for the first time, now that Hitachi has provided guidelines for a data format that is safe, secure, ensures privacy and makes them easy to use. The City Data Exchange will only accept data that has been fully anonymized by the data supplier. All of this spares organizations the trouble and cost of extracting and processing data from multiple sources. At the same time, proprietary data can now become a business resource that can be monetized outside an organization.
As a way to demonstrate how data from the City Data Exchange could be used in applications, Hitachi Insight Group is developing two applications: Journey Insight, which helps citizens in the region to track their transportation usage over time and understand the carbon footprint of their travel; and Energy Insight, which allows both households and businesses to see how much energy they use. Both are set for public launch later this year.
The City Data Exchange will offer data in different categories such as: city life, infrastructure, climate and environment, business data and economy, demographics, housing and buildings, and utilities usage. It meets the needs of local government, city planners, architects, retailers, telecoms networks, utilities, and all other companies and organizations who want to understand what makes Copenhagen, its businesses and its citizens tick.
The range of categories also shows that the launch has significance way beyond Copenhagen itself. The exchange could become the solution for data-driven city planning and Big Data analytics for the Internet of Things in other cities around the globe.
Smart Cities need smart insights, and that’s only possible if everybody has all the facts at their disposal. The City Data Exchange makes that possible; it’s the solution that will help us all to create better public spaces and – for companies in Copenhagen – to offer better services and create jobs,” said Frank Jensen, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.
A typical example of how the City Data Exchange can transform city planning is a project by design practice Gehl Architects, which ran a public space analysis in 2005 to boost the attractiveness of Copenhagen’s Vesterbrogade passage. Much of their design work relied on data based on samples. Thanks to the data exchange, in the future Gehl Architects can revisit the project to quickly gain much deeper insights into how citizens are using the area, which will result in better informed design decisions and public policy making.
Mind My Business is another great example of how an integrated data solution such as the City Data Exchange can help a city’s economy to thrive. The mobile app, developed by Vizalytics, brings together all the data that can affect a retailer – from real-time information on how construction or traffic issues can hurt the footfall of a business, to timely reminders about taxes to pay or new regulations to meet. The “survival app for shopkeepers” makes full use of all the relevant data sources brought together by the City Data Exchange.
The City Data Exchange is currently offering raw data to its customers, and later this year will add analytical tools. The cost of gathering and processing the data will be recovered through subscription and service fees, which are expected to be much lower than the cost any company or city would face in performing the work of extracting, collecting and integrating the data by themselves.
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